On Black Friday, as shoppers are taking advantage of the holiday weekend sales at retailers nationwide, a large group of Pro-Palestinian protesters maneuvered through The Grove Shopping Center displaying a banner that read “No Business As Usual”.
Organizers of the “Shut it Down for Palestine” effort say the message behind the march is to “Make it clear that there will be no business as usual until Palestine is free,” according to the ANSWER Coalition.
The group issued the international call to action to boycott, disrupt and rally at commercial centers on Black Friday, Nov. 24.
The Los Angeles Police Department issued a citywide tactical alert in response to the protests:
“The LAPD’s objective is to ensure public safety for all, while facilitating the First Amendment rights of those peacefully demonstrating,” the department wrote on social media. “Equally the department will enforce the law when individuals engage in acts of violence.”
On Thanksgiving Day, The People’s City Council claimed responsibility for a protest which included igniting smoke bombs and splattering fake blood at the home of Michael Tuchin, a Los Angeles attorney and president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
The group is now under investigation by LAPD for hate crimes.
The Peoples City Council, of whom DA George Gascon is aligned with, considering them “partners”, lists the group as official supporters on his anti-recall website “Stand With Gascon”.
DA Gascón has not made any statement regarding the attacks or the nature of his relationship with the group connected to the hate crimes.
Jonathan Hatami was the first candidate for District Attorney to come out with a statement denouncing the attacks and highlighting the relationship between Gascon and The People’s City Council.
The LA Times released an article regarding the attack on Tuchin’s home and the LAPD investigation however, neglected to include the connection and mutual support between Gascon and The People’s City Council.
Social media posts also highlighted the connection between The People’s City Council founder Ricci Sergienko and LA times owner Soon-Shiong’s daughter Nika.
*UPDATE 11/25/23, 7:39 AM
After much pressure from DA candidates and mayor Karen Bass releasing statements denouncing the hate crime against Turchin’s at his home in Brentwood, DA George Gascon made an official statement regarding the alleged hate crime:
“I am aware of the alleged hate crime that occurred yesterday in Brentwood. I’ve spoken with LAPD Chief Michel Moore and directed prosecutors in our Hate Crimes Unit to work with LAPD as they investigate this event. Hate will not be tolerated in LA County and anyone who engages in hate motivated criminal conduct will be aggressively prosecuted.”
Gascon did not address his current affiliation with the openly anti-semitic group.
This is a developing story.